December 31, 2010
Canadian goaltending in question
By TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
BUFFALO — Much of the questions surrounding Canada as it prepares for the quarter-final is whether a goaltending change should be made.
Even Olivier Roy, who allowed five goals on 41 shots on Friday before surrendering two more in a 6-5 shootout loss to Sweden, is not sure that he should be in net on Sunday.
“I don’t know,” Roy said. “I don’t know what is going to happen. I will respect the coach’s decision.”
Head coach Dave Cameron clearly will think about putting Roy on the bench and using backup Mark Visentin. When asked whether he would contemplate a change, Cameron didn’t exactly stand behind Roy. Had he been steadfast in his support of Roy, he probably would have said so.
“I will have to sit back and re-evaluate,” Cameron said. “I have not made a decision. I don’t think either goalie was the player of the game. When there are that many goals scored, both goalies would like to see some of them replayed, but that is why you play the game.”
Cameron is right — neither Roy, an Edmonton Oilers prospect, nor Sweden’s Robin Lehner, who is high on the Ottawa Senators’ prospect list, supplied world-class goaltending. The difference, of course, is that Lehner’s team won and is going directly to the semi-finals.
If Roy does play in the next game, he’s going to have to stay on his feet. The Swedes said later they deliberately were shooting high on Roy, and the game-tying goal by Patrick Cehlin at 11:43 of the third period came when he picked the top corner on Roy, who already was down on his knees.
“It was a good shot, but it was my save to make,” Roy said. “I knew they were going to try to hit the top of the net all the time.
“Having a lead halfway through the third period (and losing it) is probably the most disappointing part. I needed one more save to get the win.
“I don’t think I played my best game, but it’s over and there is nothing I can do about it.”
Visentin has to be licking his chops with the idea of possibly playing again. A goaltending switch with Canada usually does not come in the middle of a world junior tournament, but this could be different. In his other two starts, Roy has been relatively solid but not spectacular. If Cameron decides to go to Visentin, there would be a big hue and cry.
Visentin, who made 31 saves in a 10-1 win against Norway, wasn’t about to pump his chest and say he wanted to get back in.
“It’s not my job to come in here and critique other goalies,” Visentin said. “Those things are out of my control. I have no idea what to expect. We have a whole day’s rest and we will use that to prepare for a heavy battle. We took the hard route by losing tonight.”